In Through The Winery Door

by groove on February 26, 2013

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Much of my fascination with album collecting is the interesting sleeve artwork. Some of the most memorable covers in history are drawn fantasy-type of work such as “Bat Out Of Hell” and “Boston”, yet others are iconic photos of the artists themselves like “Elvis Presley” and Cheap Trick Live At Budokan” and “Rebel Yell”. Many sleeves tell a story as deep and thought-provoking as the music within. Like all pieces of art, there is a story to be told by the setting and characters and this sleeve is very layered with separate viewpoints from all of the subjects. One of these is today’s vinyl in the spotlight, Led Zeppelin’s “In Through The Out Door”. Through my years of collecting, I have learned to watch carefully for certain bands albums and buy them without much hesitation. One of those bands is Led Zeppelin. Their catalogue of material is musically significant and there is not a single release in their discography that is less than great. I didn’t always appreciate their work as much as I do today, a sign of maturity in both musical taste and just plain getting older.

The album is, like many of their other albums, rich in composition and diverse in style. Side one starts with 2 very blues-based songs and ends in a country-tinged jingle “Hot Dog”, surprisingly one of my favourite songs of the album. Side two features three lengthy tunes which highlight the band’s musicianship and progressive style of song structure. “All Of My Love” is one the best slower-paced songs by the band and gives a hint of what Robert Plant’s solo library will provide to fans in the years to come (watch future posts for a Plant-based feature – no pun intended!)

Back to the topic of collecting. Bands have cleverly packaged and marketed their work in many clever ways to grab their share of our wallets. Think of Jack White’s many recent releases such as the liquid-filled vinyl, the 7″ single within the 12″ and the “blue lightning bolt” records and you get what I mean. Iron Maiden has released all or most of their library on picture disc, certainly forcing metalheads around the world to part with hard-earned cash. I have been known to seek out and buy coloured vinyl whenever I can get it. Led Zeppelin knew the way to have fans buy not just one, but potentially six of the same album. How? Here is the catch with this album….
“The original album featured an unusual gimmick: the album had an outer sleeve which was made to look like a plain brown paper bag (reminiscent of similarly packaged bootleg album sleeves with the title rubber stamped on it), and the inner sleeve featured black and white line artwork which, if washed with water, would become permanently fully coloured. There were also six different sleeves featuring a different pair of photos (one on each side; see images at right), and the external brown paper sleeve meant that it was impossible for record buyers to tell which sleeve they were getting. (There is actually a code on the spine of the album jacket which indicated which sleeve it was—this could sometimes be seen while the record was still sealed.) The pictures all depicted the same scene in a bar (in which a man burns a Dear John letter), and each photo was taken from the separate point of view of someone who appeared in the other photos.” (from Wikipedia)

We have 3 of the different covers in our collection, 2 are for sale. We also have the brown paper bag. The brown paper bag is NOT for sale!

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Well, it’s been awhile since our last blog post…it has been a very busy month for The Groove Garden with all the demands of life coming at us all at once. This time of year tends to be extraordinarily busy for Stacey at his day job, but there is always time to unwind at the end of a strenuous work day with a glass of wine. We are focused on music and food mainly, but wine and other spirits form the third element of our passion in the “Garden”. Before moving here in the summer of 2008, we knew the region of the Okanagan-Similkameen was known for wine, but we didn’t truly appreciate the depth of choice and seemingly unlimited variety of production that is here – stretching from south of Sicamous/Salmon Arm in the north to the US border town of Osoyoos in the south. It seems there are new wineries opening monthly and we are the lucky and blessed beneficiaries of the growing industry. There were approximately 90 wineries in the region 5 years ago and today, the total is around 130. We intend to highlight as many of these wonderful wineries over the course of time in-between food blogs. Today is the first of such posts…..

Silver Sage is a family-owned and operated winery nestled in the middle of the valley near the town of Oliver and our experience is that it offers a tasting room which is very welcoming and warm. The staff are friendly and immediately attend to each guest without hesitation. They provide a very thorough description of the wines in your tasting flight and their level of knowledge and passion for wine is obvious. The winery and wine-tasting experience ranges from the very rustic and relaxed to the most pretentious and uptight and everything in-between. We’ve been to many on the scale and the Silver Sage winery is very much toward the relaxed side. Now, the wine…..

The Merlot is a medium-bodied red with strong blackberry characteristics. It’s rich and intense fruit flavour has a surprisingly soft finish and has been a companion to pasta and sushi dishes in our kitchen. To bring the flavour to it’s fullest, try it with dark chocolate….just make sure you’re sitting down. It has also been enjoyed as a stand-alone sipping wine during our vinyl-listening sessions and will have a permanent spot in our wine rack. We would have a cellar, but no space due to the records! At a price point of around $20, it can be enjoyed without breaking the bank.

To talk about Silver Sage without mentioning their signature wine, The Sage Grand Reserve, would be criminal. The winery has a special sage-infused Gewurztraminer that is a MUST for your Thanksgiving/Christmas dinners. Fermented with wild sage plants, the wine IS holiday dinner is a glass.

Here is the winery website:
http://silversagewinery.com/

Here is some general information about all of the wineries in the region:
http://www.winesnw.com/okanagan.html

Here is a list of the approximate 130 wineries in our area:
http://www.kelownabc.com/wine/

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Karin March 5, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Great write up on Led Zeppelin! I’ve been listening to a lot of their older stuff recently, along with Pink Floyd, and considering the fact this is our generation’s “classical” music, just as my parents listened to Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, etc.
Did not know about the cover art for that particular album. Then again, I MAY have known at one time, and had forgotten. The joys of aging.
And thanks for the tip on the sage infused Gewerztraminer -when I do drink wine, Gerwerzt is one of my favourites……..
Keep up this great blog!

Karin

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